Winter Wellness: How to make the most of it

Winter Wellness: How to make the most of it

Hello, winter, my old friend

As temperatures drop, days grow shorter, and more and more clouds gather overhead, many of us get the winter blues, those symptoms of low-level but persistent sadness that can affect our daily lives, including how we feel, think, and interact.

Many researchers believe that this recurring phenomenon is hard-wired in our genes. Although we don’t hibernate as bears do, the onset of cold alerts our bodies to conserve energy by slowing down our metabolism and reducing our physical activity. So we become sluggish, less alert, and less motivated than usual.

The good news? This frustrating time is both preventable and reversible. It is up to us to make the switch from winter blues to winter wellness, which, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Here’s how we can beat the winter blues during the darker, colder days of winter and take full control of our well-being.


15 easy winter wellness tips to make the most of this winter

1. We can eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and lemons, are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen our immune system. Seasonal winter vegetables like spinach, broccoli, beets, radishes, and carrots are full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, and they also contain useful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

2. We can consume more fiber
Our appetite grows when the days grow colder and shorter. A nutrient-rich diet helps us stay warm and keep our bodies alert. However, a large meal burdens our digestive system. By eating foods rich in soluble fiber, such as those found in apples and nuts, we help our digestive tract and gut microbiome stay happy and healthy after each meal.

3. We can add omega-3 fatty acids to our diet
Who said all fats are bad? The healthy fats found in cold-water fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, and herring are anti-inflammatory and improve bone and joint health, which often suffer from adverse weather changes. But the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids don't stop there. Studies have found that they improve skin health and sleep quality, and fight depression and anxiety.

4. We can drink plenty of water
Do you drink more water in winter or summer? Many would answer “during summer.” However, it is equally important that we drink lots of water during the cold winter days as it is during the hottest days of summer. Studies have shown that drinking enough water during winter helps us better regulate our body temperature, protect our immune system, and hydrate our skin.

5. We can keep our hands and electronic devices clean
We are in the habit of washing our clothes, but how often do we clean our hands and our ever-present electronic devices? Our hands carry more than 150 kinds of bacteria. Regular hand-washing, with soap and water for at least half a minute, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect ourselves from germs and most infections. So is disinfecting our smartphones and laptops. According to Harvard, “researchers found ten times more bacteria on a phone screen than on a toilet seat or handle. [But] only 1 in 20 people clean their phone more than twice per year.“ Making it a habit to thoroughly clean our electronic devices with an antibacterial or antiseptic solution sprayed onto a microfiber cloth can clean our phone or laptop without harming it.

6. We can ventilate our home and workplace
Clean air. Our homes and workplaces need it as much as our cities do. Keeping our doors and windows shut during the cold winter months may help keep the warmth inside and the cold outside, but at least some ventilation is needed to prevent the build-up of moisture, odors, dust, and cleaning agents. The accumulation of these air pollutants can irritate our eyes, nose, and throat, and cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. By properly ventilating our indoor spaces we can effectively remove these pollutants and improve our health and mood.

7. We can enjoy a good night’s sleep
Who jumps out of bed during the dark winter mornings, full of enthusiasm and energy? Research has shown that cooler temperatures encourage sleepiness. According to data from the American National Sleep Foundation, “healthy adults tend to sleep 1.75 to 2.5 hours more during winter.” Fortunately getting enough sleep, on average between 7 and 10 hours, can boost brain power, improve weight management, and reduce stress and inflammation. We just shouldn’t overdo it. More than 10 hours of sleep, for a prolonged period, may be a symptom of depression, illness, or other underlying problems.

8. We can exercise regularly
It's normal to find it hard to stay active during the coldest winter months. However, it's important to maintain a good level of physical activity all year round. Regular outdoor exercise, such as brisk walking or running, strengthens our immune system and fights the many winter viruses and germs. Indoor exercising can be an excellent alternative to outdoor exercising when the weather doesn’t permit it. Jumping rope, jumping jacks, stair climbing, pilates, aerobics, and yoga are some indoor activities that can help us stay fit in the winter season.

9. We can see more of our friends and family
A night out for a drink when temperatures drop below freezing might not feel very inviting. But it’s been shown that socializing is good for our mental and emotional health and helps us ward off the winter blues. Friends and family can warm up our hearts, no matter how cold it gets.

10. We can supercharge ourselves by catching the light
Heard of Dr. Andrew Huberman? The neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine considers viewing morning sunlight as critical for our physical and mental well-being. Viewing sunlight as soon as we can after waking, ideally within the first half hour of our day, can strengthen our immune system, metabolism, and ability to focus during the day, as well as regulate our circadian clock, which regulates important biological processes like sleep, hunger, and body temperature. And if we can make it a point to view sunlight late in the afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, even when overcast, we can inform our circadian clock to start the process of winding down for the day so that we can enjoy a good night's sleep.

11. We can hydrate properly our skin
During the winter, low temperatures, cold winds, long, hot showers, and dry indoor spaces, can make our skin look and feel damaged. Our ATHONITES VITALIZE AND HYDRATE BODY CREAM combines organic herbs to provide our skin with the necessary hydration and deep nourishment and make it look and feel soft, smooth, and healthy even on the coldest days.

12. We can protect our hands and face correctly
Our hands and face suffer more during winter because they are the most exposed to the elements. Our hands have few sebaceous glands and this means they are more vulnerable to moisture loss than other parts of the body. Our ATHONITES COMFORT AND RELIEVE HAND CREAM is an organic hand cream with a light texture that is easily and quickly absorbed and becomes one with our skin, leaving it smooth and soft. Cold can also wreak havoc on our face. The sudden temperature swings that occur when we move from the outdoors indoors in winter, and vice versa, often cause redness and inflammation to our face, as blood vessels expand and contract rapidly to cope with the sharp temperature changes. Our ATHONITES ANTI-REDNESS SOOTHING CARE CREAM made with local, organic herbs instantly reduces feelings of discomfort and soothes our skin.

13. We can take good care of our lips and nails
Dry, chapped lips in winter are a result of dehydration. In addition, cold weather can seriously damage our nails. This is because low temperatures cause our nails to dry out, become brittle, and break. As winter approaches, prevention is the way to go. Our ATHONITES LIP AND NAIL CARE BALM intensive care balm is based on a centuries-old traditional practice from Mount Athos. Pure and 93% organic, it soothes, calms, nourishes, and restores our sensitive lips and fingernail cuticles. Our organic balm is also suitable for use in children over 6 years old.

14. We can effectively repair and reverse skin damage
As mentioned earlier, prevention is the best cure. However, if for some reason we have neglected to take the appropriate preventive measures, we can restore our stressed skin to its previous, healthy state. Our organic ATHONITES MULTICARE BALM, made from organically and wildly grown herbs on Mount Athos, offers us the necessary deep nourishment and protection. It is fast-acting and stimulates the natural healing process of our dehydrated, cracked skin.

15. We can relieve our muscle pains and decongest our stuffy noses
When temperatures take a dip, our bodies redirect our blood flow from our extremities, such as hands, feet, arms, legs, and outer skin, to our core, to keep our vital organs functioning properly. This, combined with our daily activities and workouts, causes unwanted muscle discomfort and pain. Our organic ATHONITES RELAXING BODY BALM comfort our tired muscles and relieves our nagging muscular aches and pains. In addition, thanks to the unique combination of organic extracts and eucalyptus essential oil along with mint and menthol organic extracts, it decongests stuffy noses, facilitates breathing, and relieves chest pains.


Remember! Winter is only a season. And as such, this too shall pass. In the meantime, it’s up to us to make the most of our winter wellness.